Offline data

To build a solid offline experience, your PWA needs storage management. In the caching chapter you learned that cache storage is one option to save data on a device. In this chapter, we'll show you how to manage offline data, including data persistence, limits, and the available tools.


Storage is not just about files and assets, but can include other types of data. On all browsers that support PWAs, the following APIs are available for on-device storage:

  • IndexedDB: A NoSQL object storage option for structured data and blobs (binary data).
  • WebStorage: A way to store key/value string pairs, using local storage or session storage. It's not available within a service worker context. This API is synchronous so it's not recommended for complex data storage.
  • Cache Storage: As covered in the Caching module.

You can manage all device storage with the Storage Manager API on supported platforms. The Cache Storage API and IndexedDB provide asynchronous access to persistent storage for PWAs and can be accessed from the main thread, web workers, and service workers. Both play essential roles in making PWAs work reliably when the network is flaky or non-existent. But when should you use each?

Use the Cache Storage API for network resources, things you'd access by requesting them via a URL, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, images, videos, and audio.

Use IndexedDB to store structured data. This includes data that needs to be searchable or combinable in a NoSQL-like manner, or other data such as user-specific data that doesn't necessarily match a URL request. Note that IndexedDB isn't designed for full-text search.


To use IndexedDB, first open a database. This creates a new database if one does not exist. IndexedDB is an asynchronous API, but it takes a callback instead of returning a Promise. The following example uses Jake Archibald's idb library, which is a tiny, Promise wrapper for IndexedDB. Helper libraries are not required to use IndexedDB, but if you want to use the Promise syntax the idb library is an option.

The following example creates a database to hold cooking recipes.

Creating and opening a database

To open a database:

  1. Use the openDB function to create a new IndexedDB database called cookbook. Because IndexedDB databases are versioned, you need to increase the version number whenever you make changes to the database structure. The second parameter is the database version. In the example is set to 1.
  2. An initialization object containing an upgrade() callback is passed to openDB(). The callback function is called when the database is installed for the first time or when it upgrades to a new version. This function is the only place where actions can happen. Actions might include creating new object stores (the structures IndexedDB uses to organize data), or indexes (that you'd like to search on). This is also where data migration should happen. Typically, the upgrade() function contains a switch statement without break statements to allow each step to happen in order, based on what the old version of the database is.
import { openDB } from 'idb';

async function createDB() {
  // Using
  const db = await openDB('cookbook', 1, {
    upgrade(db, oldVersion, newVersion, transaction) {
      // Switch over the oldVersion, *without breaks*, to allow the database to be incrementally upgraded.
    switch(oldVersion) {
     case 0:
       // Placeholder to execute when database is created (oldVersion is 0)
     case 1:
       // Create a store of objects
       const store = db.createObjectStore('recipes', {
         // The `id` property of the object will be the key, and be incremented automatically
           autoIncrement: true,
           keyPath: 'id'
       // Create an index called `name` based on the `type` property of objects in the store
       store.createIndex('type', 'type');

The example creates an object store inside the cookbook database called recipes, with the id property set as the store's index key and creates another index called type, based on the type property.

Let's take a look at the object store that's just been created. After adding recipes to the object store and opening DevTools on Chromium-based browsers or Web Inspector on Safari, this is what you should expect to see:

Safari and Chrome showing IndexedDB contents.

Adding data

IndexedDB uses transactions. Transactions group actions together, so they happen as a unit. They help ensure that the database is always in a consistent state. They're also critical, if you have multiple copies of your app running, for preventing simultaneous writing to the same data. To add data:

  1. Start a transaction with the mode set to readwrite.
  2. Get the object store, where you'll add data.
  3. Call add() with the data you are saving. The method receives data in dictionary form (as key/value pairs) and adds it to the object store. The dictionary must be cloneable using Structured Cloning. If you wanted to update an existing object, you'd call the put() method instead.

Transactions have a done promise that resolves when the transaction completes successfully, or rejects with a transaction error.

As the IDB library documentation explains, if you're writing to the database, tx.done is the signal that everything was successfully committed to the database. However, it's beneficial to await individual operations so that you can see any errors that cause the transaction to fail.

// Using
async function addData() {
  const cookies = {
      name: "Chocolate chips cookies",
      type: "dessert"
        cook_time_minutes: 25
  const tx = await db.transaction('recipes', 'readwrite');
  const store = tx.objectStore('recipes');
  await tx.done;

Once you've added the cookies, the recipe will be in the database with other recipes. The ID is automatically set and incremented by indexedDB. If you run this code twice you will have two identical cookie entries.

Retrieving data

Here is how you get data from IndexedDB:

  1. Start a transaction and specify the object store or stores, and optionally transaction type.
  2. Call objectStore() from that transaction. Make sure you specify the object store name.
  3. Call get() with the key you want to get. By default the store uses its key as an index.
// Using
async function getData() {
  const tx = await db.transaction('recipes', 'readonly')
  const store = tx.objectStore('recipes');
// Because in our case the `id` is the key, we would
// have to know in advance the value of the id to
// retrieve the record
  const value = await store.get([id]);

The storage manager

Knowing how to manage your PWA's storage is particularly important to storing and streaming network responses correctly.

Storage capacity is shared among all storage options, including Cache Storage, IndexedDB, Web Storage, and even the service worker file and its dependencies. However, the amount of storage available varies from browser to browser. You're not likely to run out; sites could store megabytes and even gigabytes of data on some browsers. Chrome, for instance, allows the browser to use up to 80% of the total disk space, and an individual origin can use up to 60% of the entire disk space. For browsers that support the Storage API, you can know how much storage is still available for your app, its quota, and its use. The following example uses the Storage API to get estimate quota and usage, then calculates the percentage used and remaining bytes. Note that returns an instance of StorageManager. There is a separate Storage interface and it is easy to get them confused.

if ( && {
  const quota = await;
  // quota.usage -> Number of bytes used.
  // quota.quota -> Maximum number of bytes available.
  const percentageUsed = (quota.usage / quota.quota) * 100;
  console.log(`You've used ${percentageUsed}% of the available storage.`);
  const remaining = quota.quota - quota.usage;
  console.log(`You can write up to ${remaining} more bytes.`);

In Chromium DevTools, you can see your site's quota and how much storage is used broken down by what's using it, by opening the Storage section in the Application tab.

Chrome DevTools in Application, Clear Storage section

Firefox and Safari don't offer a summary screen for seeing all storage quota and usage for the current origin.

Data persistence

You can ask the browser for persistent storage on compatible platforms to avoid automatic data eviction after inactivity or on storage pressure. If granted, the browser will never evict data from storage. This protection includes the service worker registration, IndexedDB databases, and files in cache storage. Note that users are always in charge, and they can delete the storage at any time, even if the browser has granted persistent storage.

To request persistent storage, call the StorageManager.persist(). As before, the StorageManager interface is access through the property.

async function persistData() {
  if ( && {
    const result = await;
    console.log(`Data persisted: ${result}`);

You can also check if persistent storage is already granted in the current origin by calling StorageManager.persisted(). Firefox requests permission from the user to use persistent storage. Chromium-based browsers give or deny persistence based on a heuristic to determine the importance of the content for the user. One criteria for Google Chrome is, for example, PWA installation. If the user has installed an icon for the PWA in the operating system, the browser may grant persistent storage.

Mozilla Firefox asking the user for storage persistence permission.

API Browser support

Web Storage

Browser Support

  • 4
  • 12
  • 3.5
  • 4


File System Access

Browser Support

  • 86
  • 86
  • 111
  • 15.2


Storage Manager

Browser Support

  • 55
  • 79
  • 57
  • 15.2